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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Flowers lowers boom in opener

By Doug Padilla

GLENDALE, Ariz. – There was no boasting, and Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers certainly wasn’t puffing out his chest, despite scorching a line-drive home run in the Cactus League opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was only a spring game, but technically it was the first White Sox game since Flowers took over the starting catching position from A.J. Pierzynski.

Flowers has heard it all, even before Pierzynski left, that he is in no way an equal to the veteran catcher, who was behind the plate when the White Sox won their 2005 World Series title. If he has plenty of days like Saturday during the regular season Flowers should be just fine.

But in no way, does Fhe think he is well on his way toward success.

“It was an OK at-bat,” Flowers said of the trip to the plate that ended with the home run. “I had a couple of not-good takes and didn’t really see it really well except for a couple of pitches. The result is good but there is definitely more work to be done. I have to be more consistent with where I was on that last swing vs. pretty much the entire at-bat.”

Flowers’ focus will be on the pitching staff first, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put a fair share of his focus on his offense.

“Just trying to be consistent,” he said. “My hands have been an issue getting in the way sometimes. We’ve been working on it day in and day out but it’s good to get into a game and see what happens with live pitching when you can’t really think about it. It just reiterates the point that there is a lot to do to get that to being consistent.”

Gordon Beckham, who has the locker next to Flowers', called the line-drive homer one of the hardest balls he's ever seen hit. But the impressive shot was far from a sign that he has it all figured out now.

“It was one at-bat,” Flowers said.